In Manitoba, interest in fall rye is increasing, with 112,000 acres seeded the fall of 2015. Although winter wheat acres have declined in recent years, there are still very strong economic and agronomic arguments to be made for including winter wheat in rotation.
There are a number of newer winter wheat and fall rye varieties, including hybrid fall rye. Producers should take the time to evaluate their attributes, using available data and speaking with extension professionals, agronomists and local seed growers. It is the seed growers who see varieties first hand and can provide input to help with variety decisions.
Since 2008, MCVET (Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team) has been publishing winter cereal data shortly after harvest in an effort to assist producers with variety decisions. In 2016, yield data is being published for five fall rye varieties and seven winter wheat varieties collected at 10 sites across Manitoba.
Data in the winter wheat and fall rye yield comparisons tables allows producers to make head-to-head comparisons between varieties at each site, using the statistical information provided in the grey shaded area located at the bottom of the table.
The first step will be to look at the “Sign Diff” value — a “yes” or “no” will indicate if a real difference exists between varieties. For example, for fall rye at the Hamiota site there are significant differences between the five varieties tested.
The second step is to look at the “LSD” value. LSD stands for least significant difference and it shows the number of bushels per acre that individual varieties must differ by to be considered significantly different. For example, if comparing fall rye varieties at the Hamiota site the varieties must differ by more than eight bushels per acre. If we compare Hazlet and Brasetto, we see Brasetto yielded significantly higher at this site in 2016.
While it is tempting to only look at data from single sites, individual site data and even data accumulated over several sites in a single year must always be viewed with caution. Ideally, producers should look at yield data collected over many years and locations (long-term yield data) in combination with the multi-site yearly data and select those varieties that perform well not only in their area but across locations and years.
It’s not just about yield! Although yield is generally the first information producers look at, variety characteristics such as maturity, height, standability and disease resistance are critical to maximizing yield potential, end quality and therefore economic returns. Consider 2016, when stripe rust appeared early in the season in winter wheat, a repeat of 2015. Or fusarium head blight which can impact yield and quality of winter wheat in any given year. Selecting a variety with a strong disease package is one of the keys to maximizing yield and quality.
Refer to Seed Manitoba 2016 at www.seedmb.ca to review all the variety descriptions, including agronomic attributes and disease-resistance ratings, for winter wheat and fall rye. Also remember the importance of marketing opportunities and potential end uses such as milling, brewing or feed and ethanol when selecting a variety.
Wheat class modernization impacts winter wheat varieties. Effective August 1, 2016 the new Canada Western Special Purpose (CWSP) class came into effect, along with the termination of the Canada Western General Purpose (CWGP) class. This impacted the designation of several winter wheat varieties. Producers need to be aware of these changes, in order to declare that the winter wheat delivery they are making is eligible for a specific western Canadian wheat class. The Canadian Grain Commission’s Variety Designation Lists, available on its website, helps producers identify which varieties are eligible for each class.
Seed Manitoba 2017
The Seed Manitoba guide will continue to provide the latest unbiased information on post-registration variety performance in Manitoba. Seed Manitoba is a collaborative effort between the Manitoba Seed Growers’ Association, Manitoba Agriculture and the Manitoba Co-operator. Look for Seed Manitoba 2017 in December – it will contain 2016 winter wheat protein data for the 10 sites, as well as updated long-term yield data for winter wheat and fall rye.
The early release of the MCVET winter cereal data was only possible through the hard work of a team of contributors including:
- Patti Rothenburger, MCVET co-ordinator;
- Craig Linde, Manitoba Agriculture diversification specialist;
- Anita Brule-Babel, University of Manitoba cereals breeder;
- MCVET Winter Cereal site contractors;
- MCVET sponsors and supporters, including Winter Cereals Manitoba, which provide funding for post-registration winter wheat variety testing.